Google Cloud/CSA survey shows strong belief in generative AI’s ability to beef up cybersecurity | #hacking | #cybersecurity | #infosec | #comptia | #pentest | #ransomware

Generative artificial intelligence technology is fast finding a home in cybersecurity operations, as a comprehensive new survey published today found that 55% of all organizations are planning to embrace its potential to enhance their security within the next year.

That’s according to the latest State of AI and Security Survey Report, which was conducted by the Cloud Security Alliance and Google Cloud. According to them, the findings signal a “substantial surge” in generative AI integration in enterprise technology systems.

The global survey of 2,486 information technology and security professionals from organizations of various sizes revealed that the growing adoption of generative AI is being pushed through by C-suite executives, according to 82% of respondents. The reason is that high-level executives recognize the competitive advantage the technology can provide in modern business environments.

A big part of the survey was focused on how AI is being integrated with cybersecurity. It found that this is no longer just a concept, but a practical reality at many companies, with 67% of the surveyed organizations saying they have already tested how AI can be used specifically to enhance security.

What’s more, a growing number of organizations believe they are truly capable of leveraging AI, which has always been seen as a technology that requires deep expertise. Just under 50% of survey respondents expressed confidence in their company’s ability to create and execute a strategy for integrating AI with security, with 28% saying they felt “reasonably confident” and 20% stating they were “very confident.” However, Caleb Sima, chair of the CSA’s AI Safety Initiative, warned that this could suggest many organizations are overlooking the technical intricacies of AI integration.

“AI is transforming cybersecurity, offering both exciting opportunities and complex challenges,” he said. “However, the disconnect between the C-suite and staff in understanding and implementing AI highlights the need for a strategic, unified approach to successfully integrate this technology.”

Despite this warning, security professionals themselves indicated a strong degree of cautious optimism in their ability to leverage AI to enhance their organization’s security posture, with 63% saying they’re especially interested in its potential to improve threat detection and response. On the other hand, while 34% of security pros see AI as being advantageous for security teams, 31% said it could also aid cyberattackers. An additional 25% said it could be even more beneficial to attackers than to security teams.

The survey respondents also expressed a belief that AI, rather than replacing humans, is more likely to empower them and make them more effective at their jobs. Some 30% of respondents said AI will enhance their skill set, with 28% indicating it will support their role more generally, and 24% saying it will replace large parts of their role, freeing them up to perform other activities.

Finally, most survey respondents indicated that 2024 will be the year of AI implementation, with 55% indicating that they’ll begin deploying various security tools with generative AI capabilities later this year. The respondents believe generative AI can support a diverse range of security use cases, with 21% citing rule creation as the top application, and 19% citing attack simulation and compliance violation detection.

Google Cloud Chief Information Security Officer Phil Venables said AI represents a “once in a generation” opportunity for profound cybersecurity transformation, as opposed to the incremental gains most new technologies provide.

“With generative AI, we have the potential to turn the tables on attackers by 10x’ing the capabilities of defenders,” he said. “While we need to counter attacker’s use of AI, it’s even more important to get going on integrating AI into cyber defenses today.”


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